Monday, May 19, 2008

Full Circle

  • User-centric is out, relationships are in, according to Bob at least. Rather than think of identity as being centered on the user, Bob argues that it is more appropriate to think in terms of of the relationships that exist between the user and their providers (and their friends etc.)
  • Bob draws an analagy between this interpretation and planetary dynamics. Before Nicolaus Copernicus, the belief (popularized by Ptolemy) was that the planets and Sun orbited the Earth - a so called geocentric universe. Copernicus proposed what he saw as a simpler model, he demoted the Earth from the center and placed the Sun there instead - a heliocentric model.
  • As important as this shift was, Copernicus stuck with other aspects of the geocentric model. For instance, he still described the planets as orbiting on circular paths on fixed invisible spheres in space. So, a step closer to the truth, but no better at creating a stable calendar than Ptolemy.
  • It was on the observations of the Dane Tycho Brahe that Johannes Kepler took the heliocentric model to the next level. Kepler used Brahe's data to calculate elliptical orbits for the planets, the motion due to a force of attraction from the Sun and no longer requiring magical spheres.
  • Johannes Ernst led an interesting session at IIW entitled 'Partioning the Space'. In that session, we developed an interesting way to think about how the relationships between customers and bricks'n'mortar stores deepen gradually and incrementally, but how typical consent models in federated identity completely break with this slow growth pattern (e.g. 'Do you consent to sharing all your identity attributes with this SP you've just met?')

Apparently Bob is correct, it is indeed all about relationships.

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